Wednesday 25 June 2008
Estimates Committee B – Paula Wriedt
Output group 1
Economic development 
Resources and marine manufacturing sectors
Mr FINCH - From page 2.6, under 1.1 there is a drop in funds for 2009-10 and 2010-11.  I like to see a little bit of a rise there, even if it is CPI.  Is there a reason for the lower forward Estimates?  We are $4 140 000 this year.

Mr WING - We covered that.

Mr FINCH - I missed that, okay.  The other table in on 2.10.  There is a big jump in exports facilitated for 2006-07 to $190.3 million.  There is an explanation in note 3 that it was due to increased activity in the resources and marine manufacturing sectors.  What happened or did not happen the following year for the target to drop back $70 million?

Ms WRIEDT - We only count those items that the department had a significant role in securing the export contracts for.  So the big jump reflected the sale of an Incat vessel in which we had played a major role in terms of contacts and helping to facilitate that.

Mr FINCH - Is that the one that went to Japan?

Ms WRIEDT - One of them.  In subsequent ferries, for example, if we had not actually played a direct role then we would not count it as one of the things that we had facilitated.  So these are for ones that we have had a role in.  We are not trying to claim others that we do not, so we are trying to be as honest as we can.  If we have played a part then we count it; if we do not then it just gets counted as general exports for the State.

Mr FINCH - Given that, if we look back to 2005-06 it is $91 million.  Have you dropped your targets too low or is that being realistic?

Mr McILFATRICK - We have just looked at table 2.3 and we have put about $4 million worth of direct effort into export marketing - that is our staff and our expenses.  To be able to target $70 million for that effort is a pretty good multiplier.  I guess that you could say we are being conservative but there are some large lumps in there, like the Incat vessel.  If I tried to establish $190 million as a target next year I would need a lot more people.  We are just trying to be as reasonable as we can about the effort we put in.  That $70 million is made up of exports but also imports that we replaced.  It is just as important for us to have a Tasmanian company substituting something that would have otherwise have been imported as it is to export.  I think we got a pretty good result.  I am probably tempted to creep the target up and put the pressure on a bit for next year.

Mr FINCH - With the boom coming.

Mr McILFATRICK - That does not say that we expect exports to be reduced; it is just that we are very particular about only claiming a result while we have had a direct effort.  That is important from an audit point as well.  We just do not chalk up numbers for the sake of them.  They are really targeted on the effort.